UNREST?

Fear of renewed school arson as Ulanda dorm goes up in flames

Migori county director of education Elizabeth Otieno urges teachers and the community to be vigilant

In Summary

• Last term police rescued a student from a mob of his colleagues at Kangeso Secondary School after he was caught trying to set a dormitory ablaze.

•More than 204 students had to spend the night in the cold.

A photo of a latest school fire at Iriani Secondary school in Tharaka Nithi County
A photo of a latest school fire at Iriani Secondary school in Tharaka Nithi County
Image: GERALD MUTHEITHIA

Education stakeholders in Migori county have raised the alarm over fears of arson attacks.

This followed a Thursday night incident in which a dormitory at St Albert’s Ulanda went up in flames days after students reopened for the third term. More than 204 students spent the night in the cold. Their belongings were destroyed in the inferno. No student was hurt. 

County education director Elizabeth Otieno said they have alerted teachers and the community to be vigilant as candidates get ready for national exams. She said they are investigating and monitoring the situation and no one will be sent home.

"The students will not go home. We’re looking for ways to address the situation. This is an examination term and the candidate class will be greatly affected if the students are sent home,” Otieno said.

She appealed to teachers not to be discouraged by the disaster as that would hurt students.

Rongo deputy county commissioner Joseph Satia visited the scene. He said the fire was put out by villagers and investigations launched. “Last term, we had similar cases in Migori, with some students ending up in prison. We need to be keen this time,” he said.

Principal Phinora Buyengo said,  “The source of the fire has not been established. It might have been caused by an electrical fault. Students are, however, safe but their property has been destroyed in the inferno.”

Last term, the police rescued a student from his schoolmates at Kangeso Secondary after he was caught trying to set a dormitory ablaze.

Police officers from Kangeso police post said students spotted him during preps. They were almost lynching him when the officers arrived.

Other schools that have had fire incidents include Sagero Mixed in Suna East, St Pius Uriri Boys in Uriri, Kibuon Mixed and Oyugi Ogango Girls.

(Edited by F'Orieny)